Hello, there. I hope you have been having as wonderful a summer as I have been having. It has been sunny, warm, and abundant in so many ways. This past month, the farmer's markets have been filled with wild Maine blueberries, which are a pain to pick, but perfect for baking and snacking. In this case, perfect for topping a cheesecake that didn't require me to turn on the oven.
This cheesecake originally comes from a Nigella Lawson recipe, though I have adapted the measurements to suit my tastes and to fit the springform pan that I have. This recipe makes a light and creamy cheesecake that is easy to put together and is wildly forgiving. You really don't need to fuss over the measurements, just throw it all together. If you taste the filling before it has set, you may find the flavor to be a bit too light or bland. Don't worry, after it rests and firms up in the fridge, the flavors will come together and strengthen into a more traditional cheesecake flavor.
- 11-12 whole graham crackers
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 6 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 12 oz. softened cream cheese
- 3/4 c. confectioner's sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 9 inch springform pan
To make the crust, pulverize the graham crackers into a fine crumb. You can put them into a food processor or do what I do, which is to put them in a sealed plastic bag and hit them with a rolling pin. Pour the crumbs into a medium bowl with the salt, sugar, and melted butter. Stir together until all crumbs are moistened. You shouldn't have any trouble with the crust sticking to the pan when the cake is done, but that said, if I'm making it for company, I line the bottom of the pan with parchment to ensure the crust doesn't stick when I'm ready to remove it. Press the crumbs into the springform pan evenly to form a base for the cheesecake. I build up the sides about an inch. Put the crust in the fridge to set up while you make the filling.
Whip the heavy cream until you get slightly stiff peaks. You don't need it so stiff that it won't blend with the remaining ingredients, but not so soft that it won't give the cake some structure. Set that aside while you blend the rest of the filling ingredients. Combine the softened cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and beat until well combined and very soft. Gently fold in the whipped cream. For best results, fold in the whipped cream 1/3 at a time. Pour your filling into the set crust and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan before separating the sides from the base. Gently remove the sides, top as you please, and slice to serve.